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Creative hands of Jefferson the joiner

Creative hands of Jefferson the joiner Jefferson Walrond known for breathing new life into furniture. (LK)

By LISA KING | Mon, November 05, 2012 - 12:01 AM

“I CAN TAKE SOMETHING that you have at home  to throw away and make  it a thing of beauty.”

This is the promise  of upholsterer and joiner Jefferson Walrond, who has dedicated several years of his life to seeking to perfect the art  of breathing new life  into old furniture.

Walrond said in these days when most people opt to throw away  their old furniture and purchase a new living room suite or a bed  at a fairly reasonable  price, some people  may ask what sense  there is in getting something repaired.

But, he said: “If you have a favourite chair, you do not want to go  and buy a new one.  I can fix it.

“I can customize it.  If you want a particular design, I can do it. I can repair almost anything,” Walrond said.

Walrond said although some level of creativity was required, he can make many items from scratch or he can make repairs to anything  no matter how damaged it may appear.

“If you have an old bed, an old table, any old piece of furniture, you would  be surprised at the transformation that I can give to it. Just show me the styles you like; the options are endless.

“If it is too big, I can make it smaller; if it is too small, I can extend it,” he said.

Walrond said that even though the work was seasonal he got a lot  of jobs during Easter, Christmas and for Valentine’s Day.

His large repertoire includes ironing boards, tables, chairs, pouffes, throw cushions, frames for portraits, beds, bed bases, beach umbrellas, boat sails, cushion covers and car seats.

He said his latest creation is a baby box, which is upholstered and very portable – not bulky – and is well ventilated  so the busy parent could take the baby anywhere in the house with them while they concentrate  on housework.

Walrond recently registered his business, called Sujoe’s Sales And Upgrades, but he  is so enthusiastic about his work that he has dedicated the past few months to teaching  an upholstery and soft furnishings class for the Community Development Department.

He said that he picked up the skill at one  of the skills training programmes at Bush Hall Centre over 20 years ago and because the skill  had benefited him tremendously, he wanted to work in a setting where he could share  the skill with others.

“I wanted to set up  a workshop teaching  the soft furnishing and upholstery. So I asked about using the resource centres and was told that I could get the space and get my own students  to pay or join the Community Development Department, where  they pay you to teach  the participants,” Walrond said.

He recently concluded his first class at the Weston Resource Centre, where he taught  15 participants in the  12-week basic upholstery course. He spoke proudly of the success of the participants, who hosted an open day at the centre recently. The class showcased a variety of pouffes, throw cushions and cushion covers.

Walrond said the interest in upholstery had been growing as a lot of people saw it as a way to make money. Concerning the class at Weston, he said it was oversubscribed and people were seeking to join even after the classes had already started. Additionally,  the participants ranged  in age from 17 to 60.

“When they start,  it is like they just want something to do, but as they go along their interest grows. Right now the numbers for the basic class are growing greatly and the participants are asking about an advanced class,” Walrond said.

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